Five reasons why volunteering with NGT might be for you!

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – NGT could not achieve all we do without the support of our amazing volunteers. Whether it is planting trees, sorting seeds, surveying flora and fauna, or filling sandbags to restore water levels in a drained wetland, the joy and satisfaction we all experience when volunteering is invaluable.

Listed below are some of the reasons why volunteering can be rewarding, but we are sure there are more!   

NGT’s Ange and volunteers Rosey and Stewie Pouncett checking an Elliott trap during a fauna survey.
  1. Connections

Our volunteers often comment on how connected to the environment they feel when they are working within our reserves or on other NGT projects. Some of our volunteers have special connections to the people they work alongside as it creates a sense of belonging in their lives. Some have heartfelt connections to the land we work upon and the memories it holds for them or their families. Some have connections to the flora and fauna either for personal reasons or through the history they have learnt about whilst volunteering with us.

2. Valuable contributions and commitment

Our volunteers have commented about how special the contributions to the environment they make are, for example, being able to see trees they planted five years ago now grown and recreating habitat. Often our volunteers visit the same special places many times and can watch the progress of restoration take place – the frogs returning to the swampy ground, the vegetation growing, and the birds visiting again. Our volunteers know they are making a real difference when they see seedlings grow into trees, wetlands filled once again, and fauna returning to project sites. Kylie and Andrew, volunteers at NGT’s Walker Swamp, say that they “were keen to get involved to support this exciting project which gives us hope that we can reverse some of the mistakes of the past.” Others commented how they have seen the progress of the restoration and the results are “breathtaking”. The commitment of our volunteers enables them to see these transformations up close and generates that sense of satisfaction that comes from personally contributing to these restoration outcomes.

3. Collaborations

NGT works with a vast array of organisations across South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, and New South Wales providing opportunities for volunteers to collaborate and network with lots of different people and places. Our volunteers collaborate with local farmers, cultural Elders, our staff (who are experts in their field), students, landholders, and each other. Collaboration allows for a shared learning and knowledge flow between and within diverse groups of people with whom volunteers may not have interacted otherwise. Helen, a regular volunteer in our nursery has said “there have been many good moments. I enjoy being around other volunteers and the hardworking staff”. Jennie, another nursery volunteer, has noted that volunteering “provides the opportunity to mix with a variety of people including young ones.”

4. For the challenge

If you’re looking for a challenge, then volunteering can certainly provide that! Volunteering with NGT can offer physically challenging tasks like wading through swamps or filling sandbags, or on the other hand, we can offer mentally stimulating tasks like learning the names of the plants we grow in the nursery. We certainly have something for everyone! In a recent conversation with our Nursery Coordinator, Ange, volunteer Lynn learnt that her Liverwort problem that was presenting in her lawn was likely a result of poor drainage; she was so pleased to find a possible solution and said “Every day I am here I learn something new”.

5. Cultural education

NGT acknowledges the ongoing connection First Nations people have the land upon which we work, and we often collaborate with or learn from local First Nations Elders and community members. Our volunteers similarly have opportunities to learn about cultural significance of the places, plants, and animals we work in, alongside us.

Planting day at Eaglehawk Waterhole.

If you have ever wanted to find out more about volunteering with NGT please get in touch here.

Finally, the safety and wellbeing of our volunteers is our first priority. With this in mind, our staff are first aid trained and fully equipped with comprehensive first aid kits which have been generously donated to NGT by First Aid Kits Australia. To purchase your own First Aid Kit for home, work or fieldwork please click this link to head to First Aid Kits Australia.

Carmen Bliss